Monthly Archives: June 2010


I’m Moving To Canada 7

I have been looking forward and dreading this day for a little while now. I was more than certain to move on from my undergraduate life at Stevens and into the next stage– but I had no idea it would involve me moving back up north to Canada. I was never sure how to make such a decision and how much I would debate it from the moment I know that I might have the opportunity. Slowly but surely, more and more people I know have begun to find out about the next chapter in my life that I have decided to accept employment in the great city of Toronto in Ontario, Canada. It wasn’t my first choice but in the end, it was my best choice because of where I wanted to progress professionally.

The last decade that I have spent in the Garden State has been something remarkable. I was never a big fan of moving down here in the middle of 7th grade but I have since grown fond of this place. I may not have always liked the political decisions made here, their sports teams or even their lack of Mars chocolate bars, but the people were a different story… and seriously, why aren’t there Mars chocolate bars here?

Dating back to 2001, I decided to go to the Middlesex County Academy for Science, Mathematics and Engineering Technologies (MCASMET) for high school which was only in its second year of existence when I first started. I like to think, that along with several people from our class, I had some sort of influence in the way things developed in that school. This is the place where I learned to question facts and not take them at face value. This is a place where I learned to be disciplined while debating with a classmate who was fundamentally incorrect. However, this is also the place where I got into trouble for not being “patriotic” enough during my freshman year but this is also a place where I made a best friend who I rarely go the stretch of a full day without making contact of some sort.

I hope to continue the lasting relationships I had formed not only with those that I was fortunate enough to learn from in my classes but a couple of old teachers and a soccer coach as well. It has been five years since I graduated from MCASMET and I was just at the reunion a couple of weeks and I am already looking forward to where everyone will be in the next five years.

My undergraduate studies just concluded with my commencement in late May and even though I will not say it was everything I hoped it would be, I will add that it wasn’t too bad. I think I am correct when I say the first person I befriended at Stevens became one of my better friends and would go on to become my eventual roommate several times over, including this final year. I had another roommate who was more civil-ized than the rest of us but I am not sure how he survived the constant slew of cheeky insults tossed his way. I was certain he hated me at times but hopefully that’s more temporary than a full time thing. I’m gonna miss competitive games of basketball and racquetball down here in Hoboken and sometimes down right painful games if you played with the right (or wrong) people.

A tidbit: Did you know one of my best friends from high school went to graduate school with a best friend of one of my aforementioned college roommate?

One thing I never did understand was how big the western culture is on moving away from home or disassociating ties from those that raised you. That is probably the one thing that puzzles me the most. Family is the one place you can always turn to whether it is in a time of need, time of celebration or anything in between. It is time to grow up now but moving to another country away from your immediate family will always be difficult but strong faith and belief should see you through. Hopefully, this next chapter is as resourceful as I expect it to be and we’ll see where I go from there.

For those looking to get in touch with me, can still use my same email address or cellphone  number starting July 4th but in order to text me, you should use my Google Voice number because I won’t have an international text messaging plan to start off. If you need any of those information, feel free to contact me and we can exchange information.

Now, who is up for a visit to Toronto to visit me?


New Avis / Yankees Commercial

I had seen this tv ad several weeks ago by Avis in their series of going back and forth between the Red Sox and Yankees but could not find an online video of until today.

I have also heard some rumblings from crazy Yankee fans that they are pissed off because the real “Bleacher Creatures” weren’t used and I think that’s completely ridiculous. I realize this is a capitalist society so everyone wants to jump in and try to make their money off of their 15 minutes of fame but get over yourselves.

As for the rest of you, enjoy the commercial.


Re: Oreo Cookies and Halal Products 1

My cousin over at Chill Yo Islam Yo raised a very important question last week when he asked whether the Nabsico products sold in North America were halal because they are self-proclaimed NOT halal-certified in Europe.

“Before you start throwing Oreo cookies at me,” as Saad said, I contacted the Nabisco Customer Service regarding the issue and have enclosed the entire conversation below for your consumption (get it?).

If the pictures below seems too long for you and you don’t want to read it (tl;dr), Nabisco basically stated that “to the best of their knowledge” as long as the Oreo product is not “Reduced Fat” or of the “Sugar Free” variety, you are good to go. Their answer is the first thing you read in the image and my initial question is found below the dotted line in each picture.

Below is the FAQ from Nabisco’s European website that Saad pulled up:


Blood Donation

I donated blood today for the first time in a few years and the process this time seemed to be much faster and definitely less painful with the needle poking. I went in well prepared with a meal before hand and no liquids immediately prior to the donation. I found out today that one can donate blood every 56 days and although that seems rather frequent in everyone’s busy schedule, I will definitely try to go at least once a year.

No one needs a special reason to give blood. Some of us give blood because we were asked by a friend, others because they know that a family member or a friend might need blood some day and some just believe it is the right thing to do. Whatever your reason, the need is constant and your contribution is important for a healthy and reliable blood supply.  And  you’ll feel good knowing you’ve helped change a life.

Some health benefits that you receive from donating are you actually get a mini physical while you’re there as they check your pulse, blood pressure, body temperature and hemoglobin.

In terms of preparation of what to bring when donating, you should have a meal and something to drink. In terms of documentations, bring a donor card if you have it and driver’s license or some other form of government issued ID. Also they ask about where you have traveled recently and what types of medication you may be taking so a list of those are always useful.

Blood Donors Must:

  • Be healthy*
  • Be at least 17 years old in most states, or 16 years old with parental consent if allowed by state law
  • Weigh at least 110 lbs.
  • Additional weight requirements apply for donors 18 years old and younger and all high school donors.

* Note: Healthy means that you feel well and can perform normal activities. If you have a chronic condition such as diabetes, healthy also means that you are being treated and the condition is under control.

So head over to your local American Red Cross (http://www.redcrossblood.org/donating-blood) and donate today!


2010 World Cup Predictions 3

In just under an hour, the 2010 Soccer World Cup will begin in South Africa and the timings for those games here in the US are awesome. Just start the games off early in the morning, they are done by mid-afternoon and that leaves your evenings free. Look through my Group Stage picks and let me know what you agree with, disagree with and put up your own picks.

Who do you have winning it all?

Group A (FIFA Ranking maybe a little dated)
South Africa (90)
Mexico (17)

Uruguay (18)
France (10)

There has yet to be a World Cup where the host country failed to reach at least the round of 16 but I think it might be safe to say that there will be a first time this year. South Africa will have a very hard time of advancing out of this group but the Bafana Bafana will have the home crowd support and that can provide for some exciting games (circa ’95 Rugby World Cup and ’96 African Cup).

France ended up getting a very favorable draw after the handball incident against Ireland late last year but their solid defense should overcome any offensive problems they might be having to start the tournament.

The second team to qualify should be the winner of the Uruguay/Mexico game and I think Uruguay, coming off of a win against Costa Rica to qualify for the WC should be able to handle Mexico and advance to the 2nd round.

Group B
Argentina (7)
Nigeria (20)
Korea Republic (47)

Greece (12)

I am not sure what to think of the Greek squad but after their 2004 win they were a huge disappointment by missing the 2006 World Cup entirely. The Greeks needed to win a playoff to get into the tournament and have plenty of talent to make a run in South Africa. Argentina is the most interesting team in the tournament. They have the players it to win it all but the antics of their coach could lead to their downfall.

Group C
England (8)
USA (14)

Algeria (31)
Slovenia (23)

As much as the England/USA game as been hyped up on this side of the Atlantic, I don’t think it is that big of a deal for the British. They fully expect to come into that game and defeat the Americans and I don’t think the game will be close. I have a feeling that the American squad can be distracted by the very first game they play in the tournament and let that get in their way of advancing far in the tournament. Not a lot stands in their way of qualifying from the Group Stages however.

Group D
Germany (6)
Australia (20)
Serbia (16)
Ghana (32)

The Germans coming off a third place finish in the 2006 WC will probably be lucky to get that far again this tournament. Ballack once again leads a team of talented players and they should advance easily but will not reach the Finals once again. The Aussies had a good run last time around as well and should provide to be a tough opponent for whoever they face.

Group E
Netherlands (4)
Denmark (35)
Japan (45)
Cameroon (19)

A lot of people seem to be down on the Dutch and giving them a tough pass in this group. As tough as the other three may be, it should be THAT difficult for Netherlands to advance. As for the second team, I am ready to take any of the three. This should be the most closely decided group of games of the Opening Round and I see Denmark advancing.

Group F
Italy (5)
Paraguay (30)

New Zealand (78)
Slovakia (38)

Italy probably got the most favorable draw possible for a rather weak and old team entering this World Cup. They should have no troubles advancing I wouldn’t be surprised at all if the second team to qualify from this group ends up advancing further than the Italians.

Group G
Brazil (1)
North Korea (106)
Ivory Coast (27)

Portugal (3)

No surprises here with Brazil and Portugal but it would have been rather awesome to see the Ivory Coast compete with a healthy Drogba. Either way, the game between the #1 and #3 rank to decide the top seed in the group should provide plenty of early excitement.

It’s quite the awful draw for North Korea in Group G as they have absolutely no shot of winning any games here and should easily be handled in all three games. Tough schedule for a team making it into the tournament for the first time since 1966.

Group H
Spain (2)
Switzerland (26)
Honduras (40)
Chile (15)

I don’t pick too many upsets coming out of the group stage and I had the Swiss bypassing Chile but I couldn’t bring myself to do it. They have a rather energetic and young lineup that has the potential to make a run if they get into the second round.

The host country has never failed to reach the round of 16, but there is a first time for everything. South Africa will have a very hard time of advancing out of this group. The one bright spot is the Bafana Bafana will have the home crowd support.